I’m sure you’re familiar with actress Lauren Graham—you know, from Gilmore Girls and Parenthood—but did you know she wrote a novel? Someday, Someday, Maybe is in the same vein as Jennifer Weiner’s The Next Best Thing: a look at the world of film & television from a newcomer’s perspective. But, whereas Weiner’s novel is a thinly-veiled account of her recent attempts to helm a TV show, Graham’s is just a predictable account of a struggling actress in NYC in 1995.
Franny Banks (named after the eponymous J.D. Salinger character) has a deadline of six more months to “make it” in acting. While she’s not sure what exactly that constitutes, she doesn’t want to end up one of those failed actresses who doesn’t know when to quit. She lives in Brooklyn with best friend Jane who works as a PA and quiet, tall Dan who’s diligently penning a sci-fi screenplay. Through her acting class she lands an agent who helps her get into auditions and meets handsome, charming, up-and-coming actor James. From there builds an obvious love triangle and obvious career arc as Graham explores those six months of Franny’s life.
Despite of all its frustrating predictabilities, Graham remains an amusing writer. Franny’s sense of humor, expressed in the first person, is funny enough to elicit many laughs even when she overthinks most moments with frustrating tedium. And Graham’s reflections on life in NYC in the 90s is amusing as well, although it does make the story feel especially outdated. I would like to see Graham attempt a more contemporary and original story instead of this unnecessary retread of chick lit tropes.
I really wanted to love this novel (she even incorporates lyrics to one of my favorite Sondheim songs), which is what makes its mediocrity so much more disappointing.